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BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More

Matt_R 16 Mar 01 - 10:41 AM
CarolC 16 Mar 01 - 10:52 AM
katlaughing 16 Mar 01 - 10:53 AM
Matt_R 16 Mar 01 - 10:55 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Mar 01 - 10:58 AM
Matt_R 16 Mar 01 - 11:02 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Mar 01 - 11:11 AM
Kim C 16 Mar 01 - 11:26 AM
Bill D 16 Mar 01 - 11:46 AM
Banjer 16 Mar 01 - 09:44 PM
catspaw49 17 Mar 01 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Jon Freeman 17 Mar 01 - 05:20 AM
Banjer 17 Mar 01 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Jon Freeman 17 Mar 01 - 06:36 AM
katlaughing 17 Mar 01 - 10:52 AM
Geoff the Duck 17 Mar 01 - 01:45 PM
hesperis 17 Mar 01 - 10:14 PM
dick greenhaus 17 Mar 01 - 11:45 PM
Banjer 18 Mar 01 - 04:58 AM
katlaughing 18 Mar 01 - 10:54 AM
granny 18 Mar 01 - 12:51 PM
Metchosin 19 Mar 01 - 01:00 AM
Banjer 19 Mar 01 - 06:33 AM
Kim C 19 Mar 01 - 05:19 PM
Amergin 15 Jun 01 - 02:47 AM
SeanM 15 Jun 01 - 03:22 AM

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Subject: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Matt_R
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 10:41 AM

I should have known it was too good to be true. I got this email this morning.

March 15, 2001

Dear Photoloft Members,

Today I have an extremely important announcement to make. There is now a fee associated with uploading images to and serving images from Photoloft.com. As distasteful as this may seem to some, please take a minute to read the following message and at least understand what the thought process is behind such a move.

First and foremost, the charge for having an account in which photos may be uploaded into will be extremely affordable, $2.99//month. However, in aggregate it will greatly enhance our ability to maintain and improve the site. Perhaps a little history is important at this point

When initially launched, Photoloft.com was the first photo-sharing site on the Internet. Since that time, well over $1 Billion of Venture Capital money has been spent, most of it wasted, to create competitive offerings. However, there are no free lunches, the money must come from somewhere and two models for generating revenue have emerged:

1. Revenue from advertising and email solicitation 2. Revenue from the creation of prints and gifts

The first one is getting less and less attractive as a revenue source. First of all, consumers flat out are not interested in the advertisements, thus diminishing the desire for advertisers to pay, but more importantly consumers realize that there is a bit of a bait and switch going on here. "I signed up to share photos, but I'm suddenly on a get rich quick email list." And from an internal resource perspective, the employees of BrightCube would rather concentrate on how to make the service better and not concentrate on how to sneak dollars out of unsuspecting customers wallets.

The second one is a little more interesting. Getting prints made online is a real and tangible benefit that many are already taking advantage of. However, printing photos is a commodity business and has been for some time. Most photos are printed with ink and paper that is made by just a handful of companies.

So the obvious question begs: Can a dot.com company mark up the price of the photos enough to become a profitable middleman? And if that is not enough, can the difference be supplemented by extracting dollars from the personal profile information users invariably leave behind when purchasing online? The rash of closures lately, such as Kodak backed E-Memories would say no. However, a third variable is also involved. What about the people who wish to print at home?

Most people print at least some photos at home. Despite quality problems and price issues, convenience usually prevails. Especially in the case of an amateur digital photograph. That is because the life of the photo is somewhat simplistic, a month on the refrigerator and then on to the recycle bin (or shoebox as the case maybe).

Now, back to why Photoloft.com has made the decision it has made. First and foremost, it allows the company to develop technology without any hidden agendas. It allows us to develop a full array of services and let the consumer choose what they want to do and when they want to do it. For example, we will be able to offer "photo quality" prints from a variety of different sources (and quality/price points) while improving our ability to enhance home printing. Our focus, as it was in the beginning, will be on the experience. No advertising, which we never did well, and no Spam, which we never did anyway. This decision frees the Photoloft development team to do what they do best, create on-line photo sharing technology.

I hope this explains our position and I hope that you will stay with Photoloft as we move forward. It is our firm belief that our customers need photos on-line for a variety of different reasons, and our charter is to enable those services based on customer need. We do not want our time to be spent supporting quasi or hidden revenue channels or supporting only the features that enable particular types of e-commerce. And if history is the best predictor of future behavior, then I would expect many others in our space to follow our lead.

For those who do not wish to remain with Photoloft, your current images will remain on-line for thirty days so that you may retrieve them. For more information on the specifics of the service or to sign up, please go to the following link: http://www.photoloft.com/home/s_membership.asp?s=plft&popup=No

Sincerely, Jack Marshall Co-Founder of Photoloft.com, Vice-Chairman of BrightCube.

Guess we start looking for somplace new?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: CarolC
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 10:52 AM

Matt, I hope you find someplace better, but don't be surprised if you can't. I just recently moved all of my pictures to PhotoLoft from another site because they downgraded the quality of their service too much as a cost cutting measure.

If you find a better site, I may switch to it. But if you don't, I'm willing to pay three dollars a month for what is essentially a very good service. (Think of it... only three dollars a month so I can spread blue clickies of myself all over the Mudcat... muahahaha.. )

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 10:53 AM

Well, if it is only 2.99 per month, I don't see why I couldn't pay that to at least keep the one Mudcatter generic one open. It'd be up to everyone else whether they kept their own or not. I suspect he is right, probably a lot of them will be doing this sort of thing in the enar future. I appreciate his being candid and also the fact that they don't like to use adverts and they never spam. That alone is worth it to me.

I will check to see how much space we've used, but I don't think it is much. Then whomever wants to can send their photos to me or Banjer and we can put them in the generic one. We may have to limit the number of each person's as bbc used to have to do for here. We'll see what everyone has to say, too.

Thanks, Matt, I hadn't seen this, yet.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Matt_R
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 10:55 AM

And you know we love looking at 'em! (Well I do anyway).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 10:58 AM

Pay $3 dollars a month, when there is so much free web space available - got to be joking!

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Matt_R
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 11:02 AM

I know...I was thinking of doing kinda like hesperis did, just make a personal website page for it. I could put them on my ECU website...if I could only remember how to do that FTP thing (it's been over a year).


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 11:11 AM

Matt, with programs like FTP Voyager, performing the transefers is only like using Windows Explorer and copying fro one drive to another - easy!

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Kim C
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 11:26 AM

I'm going to keep mine for the time being as I have already got it set up and everything. There's worse things to waste money on! ;) I have spent more than $36 on PAPER photo albums before.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 11:46 AM

I think I will 'probably' look for free space...if not, there are still free web pages where I can put them...we shall see.($3 is not a lot, but any $$$$ right now is important to me...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Banjer
Date: 16 Mar 01 - 09:44 PM

I haven't received that e-mail yet, but expect it won't be long. I will probably continue using photoloft. It comes down to a personal decision on the part of the individual if the service is of value to him or not. I know there is plenty of room still on my album. We get 50megs and I haven't used a fourth of that yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 05:11 AM

Wonder why some of us haven't got the e-mail yet? Generally they go out at the same time. I'll probably stick with them, like Banj. Just a pair of Incredible Dumbasses.......got the medals to prove it and all too!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: GUEST,Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 05:20 AM

Yep paying is an individual choice but space is so free and easy. Going to pay for things like that is only going to encourage places to charge for what they are making money on already and will put costs up for everyone.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Banjer
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 05:33 AM

I finally got my e-mail about it this PM and after going to the site that their 'clicky thingie' take syou to I am giving it a bit of thought before going ahead with it. It seems that our space of 50megs has been reduced to 10 megs under the new plan. Checking for available space I'm told I have 4.83 megs used, which is about half of what I would get under their 12 month plan. Additional space can be had, but the cost goes up of course.
Jon, where and how can the free space that you are speaking of be accessed? Keep in mind that not all of us, (me especially), are as computer literate as you. Can this space be accessed without having a working knowledge of programming or HTML? Please advise.
Meanwhile I WILL probably go ahead and subscribe for the year of Photoloft just to keep my albums afloat.
The idea Kat had about signing on for one subscription for general Mudcat photos may not work since space is limited to 10 megs now.
Any additional thoughts on this would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: GUEST,Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 06:36 AM

Banjer, ISPs often give free web space in their deals although the ammount varies. There are also companies like Tripod who give web space at the cost of carring thier banner ads or pop up windows.

If you are using this type of web space, you do need to be able to produce HTML documents but programs such as Front Page Express will do the job for you and give you nice easy working environment to use. There are advantages to being able to use HTML but what these programs produce is workable and I think are excellent when you want to see your own lay out as you make your pages.

The other thing you usually need is a FTP program (some companies provide thier own web based system) to upload your HTML. These programs are no more difficult to use than Windows Eplorer (you could say you see your web space as you would a disk drive on your computer) and several good cheap shareware programs are available.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 10:52 AM

Banj, I can do it on Tripod, as Jon suggests, for the general one. They have preformatted and non, and I've used both for other stuff I have on there. I will try getting something set up this w/end and see how it looks, then post a link here. Tripod is really easy to use.

I just got my email from Photoloft and I don't like the sounds of the reduction in space, etc., either.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 01:45 PM

Please keep us updated, as we now have our own digital camera and were interested in providing some form of record of events attended by Mudcatters which we also get to.
Quack
GtD


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: hesperis
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 10:14 PM

The free era is dying. People just aren't interested in ads, and the advertisers are finding that out. If you have previously liked a service, and they aren't messing with people's heads to make them pay, then I would support that.

If mp3.com hadn't messed with people's heads in order to try to make their services profitable, I would have no moral qualms about paying them their $20/month, either. Since they did, I don't know what I want to do with my music there, but I do know that I will not be paying for "Premium Artist Service".

This photo deal sounds like they are trying to do the best they can to make things profitable for themselves *and* good for the members.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Mar 01 - 11:45 PM

I like FREE as much as the next one, but it does cost money to do things on the Internet. Even here at Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Banjer
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 04:58 AM

I agree with Dick, but then on the other hand, when the service was free, a user had access to 50megs of space. Logic now is that they will have less users (meaning more space) because some folks will drop the service and those that remain and pay will only have 10megs to use for the basic pay service. If they would leave the space the same I would have no problem with paying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 10:54 AM

The link they sent me to get the particulars on it all is broken. When I went to their site I saw no indications, anywhere, no warnings of any kind, of what they are about to do. Go figure...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: granny
Date: 18 Mar 01 - 12:51 PM

You can do free photo albums at Photopoint.com. The only thing is, they recently updated features, and somehow it screwed up several of my links there and, thus, the albums. I did fix it up again, but, I'm less excited about adding pics, now.

Anyway, that's one place I know of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Metchosin
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 01:00 AM

For me, as a Canadian the cost will be the equivalent of $4.69 per month for 10 megs...ouch!....not worth it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Banjer
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 06:33 AM

I have been exploring PhotoPoint. It seems to have more features than Photoloft did. I am currently working on transferring my photos from he loft to the point. I will put a link here in a couple of days when all is ready.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Kim C
Date: 19 Mar 01 - 05:19 PM

Banjer, I signed up for a year and I have 20 MB of space. I didn't buy any extry... hmm...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: Amergin
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 02:47 AM

yahoo is free....30mb...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcatter Photos at Photoloft --No More
From: SeanM
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:22 AM

That is a good point...

Yahoo/Geocities is apparently trying to keep the free services around as an enticement to draw in more people - but then again, they've probably hit a critical mass wherein they can keep going on ad revenues and the like, and they do offer quite a variety of 'paid' enhancements (increased memory space, a couple of the gadgets you can get for your page, etc.).

More power to Photoloft if they can make it work, but I'll agree - normally, reducing your services and then increasing your fees doesn't make for good growth unless you've got good PR guys working for you.

M


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Mudcat time: 16 September 7:42 AM EDT

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